Architect Christopher Briley believes the spec-house market is ready for a change, especially now that energy prices are on the rise. This 2200-sq.-ft. spec house in Maine, called Harmony House, is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Its detached garage could be placed almost anywhere without altering the plan dramatically, so the house could be built on a variety of sites and still have the best possible orientation toward the sun. A south-facing solarium helps to heat and cool the house year round, and a solar system provides almost all the domestic hot water. Other features include radiant concrete floors, an energy-recovery ventilator, a 60,000-Btu fireplace, a high-performance exterior envelope, and building materials that don’t outgas formaldehyde
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